Location: 0*00.000' 75*46.023'E

Hello again!

Watch team 1 brought in the new day with our 12am to 4am watch. Noah and I sat bow watch for the first hour talking about things we missed from home and how crazy lucky we are to be living through this adventure. The rest of the watch was filled with snacks, a guitar and its songs, the most amazing stars, and a couple of new lyrics. It is an incredible feeling to sing songs with 9 of your closest friends under stars and Vela’s full sails.

This afternoon, the majority of our crew transformed from simple pollywogs into beautiful Shellback turtles. We were visited by Neptune and Poseidon and were offered the opportunity to make our honorary sacrifices to them. If you didn’t know, there are a couple of rules we had to follow.

Rule 1. You must show up to the ceremony wearing your best sea life costume!
Rule 2. You must crawl on your hands and knees around the chart house while being challenged by the splash of the sea (in our case it was our deck hose).
Rule 3. Come with your sacrifice in hand, ready to throw it to the sea (as long as it is eco-friendly).
Rule 4. If your sacrifice is not worthy, you will be punished.
Rule 5. Any crimes you have committed aboard Vela will now be acknowledged and you will also be punished accordingly.

As you can guess, we had a very interesting afternoon. Some of the best sea life costumes were: bleached coral, a Red Octopus, Jellyfish, a Sea Lion, Sea Turtles, a Narwal, Walrus, and Kelp. The best sacrifices of the day go to Mo, Angie, Henry, Seth, Lucia, Jess, and myself. Mo, Angie, Henry, and I went for the big jump of chopping off their hair. Henry fully sent it and will be getting a really short cut by the end of the night. Mo, Angie and I all cut off significant amounts of hair in honor of our equator crossing. Seth, Lucia, Leoni, and Gillian sent poems, confessions, or valued jewelry into the sea. Some people, like Carly, cut a small amount of hair and did not pass the test. Those who made unworthy sacrifices had to eat a spoonful of a spicy, garlicy, peanut butter concoction, or in Carlys’s case, a spoonful of spicy honey. Following our equator crossing ceremony, two of our lovely friends, Lucia and Sam, were joined together in marriage by our Captain, Tom. Life rings to seal the deal!

We crossed the equator with sails up and 8 knots of boat speed. As much fun as today was, sailing and all, it was really wonderful to see everyone let a bit of themselves go. Whether that was hair, a poem, or a piece of jewelry, everyone gave a piece of themselves to the ocean. Being here, writing this blog under the stars, I am so grateful to be with this group of people at this time in my life. For everyone reading this who supported or funded anyone else on this trip, I thank you for making this opportunity a reality for my newest 30 friends.

Photo 1: Group photo with all of our sea creatures.
Photo 2: Lucia and Sam at the starboard pin rail, where their eyes first met.
Photo 3: Mo and I with our newly cut hair.